It’s taking me a long time to get to writing this post. I experienced God in a very powerful way this last weekend and I’m not sure how to exactly put into words, but I feel very strongly that I need to tell you about it. Maybe it’s just to take a step in obedience for my own sake or maybe it’s because someone else needs to hear it.
I invited myself to join the women of Hope Community Church on their women’s retreat last weekend. I had talked with Mom about going last year, but for some reason, I decided not to go. I was nursing Audrey and it would have been a bit of a hassle. I saw the dates marked on the calendar when we were at Dad’s a couple of weeks ago. I believe it may be the last thing on the calendar on my mom’s handwriting. I decided to ask Vivian if it was still on and if I could go.
Half of the women at the retreat, I did not know personally. The other half I have known for most of my life. I wasn’t sure what to expect. If I had known what was planned, I probably wouldn’t have gone. The speaker for the retreat, Bobbi, stood in front of us on Friday night and said that the theme for the weekend was “Taste and See”. She said that to “taste” something meant to “try it out”. She wanted to introduce to us, the process of healing prayer. As soon as she said that, I started to cry.
The fact that I was crying isn’t that remarkable. From time to time, I have been known to be pretty emotional. But I had come to this weekend with a sense of expectancy. I was ready for something big to happen. I didn’t know how or what that meant or how the weekend would play into that, but I was ready for something. After Bobbi introduced the theme, the tears came for a couple of reasons. They came because I knew that I needed healing and they also came because it’s one thing I had been known to roll my eyes over or be fearful of when my mom talked about it. “Healing prayer” seemed sort of “out there” to me. I told myself that maybe it was too charismatic for my taste and that I could work through my stuff with God by myself. I am much more comfortable standing up and giving testimony of things that are in the past. I’m scared to death of saying out loud, “This is what I’m dealing with right now. This is where I’m failing”.
At the end of one of the sessions, Bobbi said that the women’s council had been praying for each of us in anticipation of this time. They specifically prayed that God would stir things up in our lives and bring things to the surface that we needed to address. As soon as she said that, a women near me started weeping. I knew how she felt. So many of us could see clearly how God was working preparing our hearts for this time. We broke up into small groups and our leader asked us if we wanted to share how God was working. Woman after woman shared an area where they were feeling they needed healing. Then the leader would pray for them and with them, praying truth straight from Scripture and encouraging the women to respond in prayer in whatever way the Lord was speaking to them. It included confessing sin and asking for forgiveness for specific things as well as admitting and saying out loud what things we were handing over to the Lord for him to work His healing and asking Him to redeem those past situations and to ask Him to help us believe the truth about our situations and ourselves.
A part of me still feels a little apprehensive of talking about this because I’m afraid that some of you will think that I’m weird. What if you’re skeptical about what I’m saying? There truly wasn’t anything mystical about it. It was powerful because it was God’s truth being poured over our wounds and it was done in community. God showed me that some times there are issues that He wants to work on with me while I’m with other believers and not just in my room by myself.
There were two specific areas that I felt like I needed to open up myself and tell the Lord that I was ready to give up my own control. It had to do with my choices as a mom and my relationships with my girl friends. Some of it had to do with past hurts and some of it had to do with my own poor choices. I’ll talk about that more later. For now, I just wanted to tell you that I “tried it out”. I took a taste. The Lord did a work in my heart and I know I’m not the same.